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Fiction, Short Fiction, Science Fiction

Farming

by: Stiubhard Og


In my grandfather's time our family had the biggest herds in the valley. Times change of course, and the range has grown smaller, but it must have been magnificent to see thousands of head roaming here. Now there are all these stupid regulations; only so many of the creatures to a stall, regular inspections by the Ministry officials, sometimes I feel like just selling up and leaving. But it all comes back to the history and the traditions; it's all too much a part of me.

Once we made the finest blood sausage right here on the farm. It was black and spicy and delicious, but eating habits are changing too. These days blood sausage is shunned. Everything has to be done 'just so'. Now I'm told I can't raise the young ones in crates anymore, I have to let them roam free. Raised in crates and milk-fed, that was the traditional way, and the way we built our reputation for quality, and now when I hear the complaints about the flesh not being as tender as it used to be, what am I supposed to say? I can't break the regulations. I had a huge row with the Inspector from the Ministry just last week about our slaughtering techniques. For generations it has been the same, they get hoisted by the ankles and a quick snick opens the big artery in the neck. It takes seconds and they don't feel any pain. The new regulations say that we have to stun the brutes firstůmake sure they are unconscious. So now I have to buy new equipment and rearrange the slaughterhouse, it makes me so angry. The Inspector says that the old way is now considered too brutal. Brutal! I gave him a piece of my mind, I can tell you. Brutal indeed. My great-grandfather would have killed him on the spot. I mean, I care for the welfare of my herd as much as I can, but I have to draw a line somewhere, they are only humans after all. Honestly, farming is no life for a vampire now.

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